Tuesday, February 21, 2006


 Usually in order to succeed in making people tag a picture, a link, or any other microcontent – you need the support of a company. A company means more people, more publicity, and more connections. That's how Flickr, Google Maps, Del.icio.us etc. made it.


My initiative to create skype-yellow-pages as a peer production is doomed to failure only because it is a private initiative; unless a company adopts it …`


That's the reason I chose to collect the following info for MyMicroPedia:



Folksonomy, a portmanteau word combining "folk" and "taxonomy," refers to the collaborative but unsophisticated way in which information is being categorized on the web. Instead of using a centralized form of classification, users are encouraged to assign freely chosen keywords (called tags) to pieces of information or data, a process known as tagging. Examples of web services that use tagging include those designed to allow users to publish and share photographs (Flickr), bookmarks (del.icio.us), social software generally, and most blog software, which permits authors to assign tags to each entry.

Folksonomy and the Semantic Web

A combination of the words folk (or folks) and taxonomy, the term folksonomy has been attributed to Thomas Vander Wal. "Taxonomy" is from the Greek taxis and nomos. Taxis means "classification", and nomos (or nomia) means "management".

"Folk" is from the Old English folc, meaning people. So "folksonomy" literally means "people's classification management".The features that would later be termed "folksonomy" appeared in del.icio.us in late 2003 and were quickly replicated in other social software.Thomas Vander Wal has stated that folksonomy is a subset of tagging and it is "tagging that works".

Folksonomy may hold the key to developing a Semantic Web, in which every Web page contains machine-readable metadata that describes its content. Such metadata would dramatically improve the precision (the percentage of relevant documents) in search engine retrieval lists. However, it is difficult to see how the large and varied community of Web page authors could be persuaded to add metadata to their pages in a consistent, reliable way; Web authors who wish to do so experience high entry costs because metadata systems are time-consuming to learn and use.

For this reason, few Web authors make use of the simple Dublin Core metadata system, even though the use of Dublin Core meta tags could increase their pages' prominence in search engine retrieval lists. In contrast to top-down controlled vocabularies such as Dublin Core, folksonomy is a distributed classification system with low entry costs. If folksonomy capabilities were built into the Web protocols, it is possible that the Semantic Web would develop more quickly.

Since folksonomies are user-generated and therefore inexpensive to implement, advocates of folksonomy believe that it provides a useful low-cost alternative to more traditional, institutionally supported taxonomies or controlled vocabularies. An employee-generated folksonomy could therefore be seen as an "emergent enterprise taxonomy". Some folksonomy advocates believe that it is useful in facilitating workplace democracy and the distribution of management tasks among people actually doing the work.

Jordan Willms on Gardened hierarchical folksonomy

Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata by Adam Mathes Widely praised paper on folksonomy

Bruce Sterling article on folksonomy from Wired

Freetag, a generalized open source folksonomy implementation for PHP / MySQL applications

The Hive Mind: Folksonomies and User-Based Tagging by Ellyssa Kroski from InfoTangle.de:Folksonomy

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Folksonomy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Folksonomy

Keep and prune example list. From my brief review of the Google results it looks like "folksonomy" has caught on.

Keep: tagging is just taking off. While I'm not fond of the word "folksonomy" to describe tagging, more and more people do use it.

Keep: While I hate neologisms like blogosphere and folksonomy, the concept is certainly relevant to a significant web population and should remain as an article.The list of examples is too messy, in my opinion (though I cleaned it up a bit).

Strong Keep: The term Folksonomy has risen quickly into the lime-light. 

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Gardened hierarchical folksonomy : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Gardened_hierarchical_folksonomy

Folksonomy is a close call, making this a clear delete. 

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2005-07-18/Folksonomy and GNAA : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2005-07-18/Folksonomy_and_GNAA

The latter article is Folksonomy, which was nominated for deletion by an anonymous user who said, "Just because some self-proclaimed, vain 'online journalists' repeat a meme on their web-site in every post doesn't mean it is fit for inclusion in an encyclopedia. "The term, a neologism for collaborative categorization that has gained considerable usage, is often defined even in other sources by reference to the Wikipedia article.


A recent neologism, folksonomy, should not be confused with Folk Taxonomy (though it is obviously a contraction of the two words).Those who support scientific taxonomies have recently criticized folksonomies by dubbing them fauxonomies. 


Some sites offer a buddy system, as a well as virtual checking out of items for borrowing among friends. Folksonomy is implemented on most sites. Examples include discogs.com for music and bibliophil.org for books. 


Tags are descriptors that individuals assign to objects, in the practice of collaborative categorization known as Folksonomy. 


With the August 2005 relaunch, Last.fm supports end-user tagging of artists, albums, and tracks to create a sitewide Folksonomy of music. Users can browse via tags, but the most important benefit is tag radio, permitting users to play music that has been tagged a certain way. This tagging can be by genre ("garage rock"), mood ("chill"), artist characteristic ("baritone"), or any other form of user-defined classification ("singers Sarah would like").

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